Thursday, October 22, 2009

Training For Fustration

This is going to be another one of those posts which seem to have really nothing to do with adoption - heck, I sure didn't think anything I'm about to ramble on about had anything to do with adoption. However, its amazing how a little head tilt to the left can change a perspective on things.

We live in the country... just outside of Ottawa. Well, actually, we live IN Ottawa... technically. We are either the 1st house or the last house in/out of Ottawa, depending on if you are coming or going. Yes sir, the "Welcome to Ottawa" sign sits on the edge of my lawn.

We like the country life... in the city. We have an acre of land. The kids run and play in the yard... my wife mows the grass... for hours. Its a happy life. Roasting marsh mellows and bar-b-q'ing all year long. Aaaaah, the good life.

Yes sir, when Ottawa consumed our little village, things were going to improve! And rightfully so, they did. Yup, taxes went up... (for our new services dont'cha know). Yup, now sewer bills, and water bills, and OC Transpo bills... all services which stop about 500 meters from my house.

See, the roads out there are all 1 mile long... or roughly 600 meters. Our yard is 280 feet wide - roughly 100 meters. So on the one side of my house, I have 500 meters of road to the Intersection where the City of Ottawa thinks it ends. And I would think it ended there to. Because to get to this intersection from Ottawa, you drive through 20 minutes of farm land and cows... and an emu farm... 2 llama farms... and about 3 or 4 rock quarries. In the winter, all snow plows stop at this intersection, leaving the last 500 meters covered in snow and ice for me and my fellow villagers to dig our way out (good thing I grew up in Northern Manitoba Wrestling Bears Wrapped in Bacon!). Except, there is still the Welcome to Ottawa sign on my yard! Oh, and the taxes to prove I'm part of Ottawa.

Unfortunately, Rogers thinks Ottawa ends at this intersection as well. For there is Rogers Cable and High Speed internet right up to that intersection... then none.

Ah, now, now we are getting to the heart of this mans current ramblings.

The High Speed Internet. 500 meters to the North of my house, there is Rogers. 100 meters to the South, there is Bell. But right where I am... well... there is neither.

Luckily for us, we live in a day of technological wonder! There are wireless internet connections everywhere - heck Starbucks gives it away for free! YAY!
But where we live? Nope. No signal. But then as luck would have it, a new company sprouted up and offered Wireless Internet in our area! And it was good, as we were within their coverage area!

So I signed us up! With a 3 year contract, and at a cost of 3x what people pay in the city for a much faster connection... we were finally off country dial up, and ROCKING a 2Mb/s service with a 5GB cap! Yes sir, we had charged head long into the late 90s!

What comes after that however, is 2 1/2 years of Frustration Training(tm). Yes, internet up, down, up, down... raise the tower, add another section, cut down a tree or two! Nothing worked... except the Internet Providers Billing system - which never missed a charge!

After over two years of un-reliable internet, of me sending them email after email diagnosing my own internet connection woes, and telling them time and time again that it is not a problem on "my end", that it was not a "line of sight" issue, I was at the end of my rope! (they did later admit it WAS/IS a problem on their end... its still not fixed tho)

So I tried MORE wireless options... I tried to get a Rogers WiMAX (portable internet, the one you plug into the wall - info here). Below, is just a snippet of the the sad torrid affair.

Me: Hey, I'd like to order your Portable Internet.
Rogers Girl: Okay! I'd love to help you! So you need to buy the USB stick.
Me: Um, no. I want the Portable Internet, not the Mobile Internet.
RG: Yes sir! The Mobile Internet IS portable! It uses cell based technology!
Me: Yes, I know. Thats why I DON'T want it. I want the Portable Internet, the one that you plug the modem into the wall.
RG: Oh sir, we don't have anything like that.
Me: Right. Ummmm... I really don't know what to say right now.
RG: Oh hold on sir, I'll ask my Supervisor about it!
Me: Sure. I'll just keep reading up about it on your website until you get back.
*a little later*
RG: Okay sir, what you wanted was the PORTABLE Internet.
Me: Right. Thats, uh... thats why I said the Portable Internet.
RG: Oh no, you were looking for the MOBILE Internet, with the USB key.
Me: No, I said I did NOT want th... oh you know what, fine... whatever, tell me about the Portable Internet then.
RG: Oh sir, I don't think you want that.
Me: Oh but I do.
RG: No sir, it is much slower than the USB Stick. The USB Stick can get speeds up to 7Mb/s!
Me: Right. I know. But the WiMAX connection is 3Mb/s, and thats still faster than what I've got now. And its much cheaper than the USB Stick. So I'll go with that.
RG: But sir, the Portable Internet starts at 30$ a month, and the Mobile Internet is only 25$ a month!
Me: Right. Okay. 25$ a month, and its cell based right?
RG: Yup!
Me: So, is there the standard 6.95$/month Cell fee from the CRTC?
RG: Yup!
Me: Okay.
*awkward silence ... a little later*
Me: Sooooooo... uh... lets add 25 + 7... how much is that?
RG: 32.
Me: Right. So is 32 less or more than 30?
RG: Oh. But it is still faster and it is about the same price!
Me: Okay. I've got time. The night is young, and I'm looking for a good time. That 25$ a month, how much data dose that give me?
RG: Well sir, that's for 500MB of data!
Me: Wow! 500 eh. That must be a lot.
RG: Yes sir it is.
Me: And, uh, how much data do I get with the Portable Internet?
RG: Oh sir, only 30GBs. And is 500 less, or MORE than 30?
Me: Really? You REALLY want to take that tone with me? *siiiigh* Okay, although I will gladly admit that 500 is indeed MORE than 30, what one person in this conversation is failing to realize is that there is a fundamental difference between the units of measure being applied to said quantities, that being one of Mega Bytes (MB) versus GIGA Bytes (GB). Now, there are 1024 MEGA bytes in 1 GIGA byte. So when we are comparing 500 MBs to 30 GBs, the 500 Mbs really is 0.5Gbs. So, with the Mobile Internet, I get 1/2 a Gigabyte... and with the PORTABLE Internet, I get 30 Gigabyte. So, is 1/2 less, or MORE than 30?
RG: Oh! But there is the new FLEX plan on the data! So if you use MORE than 500MBs, it will just charge you more!
Me: Great! So, how much would 30 GBs cost me on the Mobile Internet?
RG: Ummmm... I don't know sir.
Me: Why not?
RG: Because they only price up to 5GB of data.
Me: Alright, how much is 5GB of data?
RG: 85$.
Me: Riiiight, so... is 85$ for the Mobile Internet less, or MORE than the 30$ for Portable Internet? And I still get 6 times the data limit on the cheaper one.
RG: So, can I sign you up for the Mobile Internet then?
Me: No, I would like to sign up for the Portable Internet though.
RG: Alright. Can I get your address sir?
Me: Sure. Its 123 Middle-Of-No-Where Street.
*a little later*
RG: Ummmm... do you live IN Ottawa?
Me: I sure do! I've got the "Welcome to Ottawa" sign on my yard, and the taxes to prove it!
RG: Hold on please.
*a little later*
RG: Sir, you do not live in Ottawa.
Me: And yet, I DO.
RG: See, my computer system dosn't have your address in it. So I can't sell you the service.
Me: Right. Okay. Um, lets start at the beginning here... how do addresses get INTO your computer?
RG: By purchasing a service from us.
Me: Which is what I'm trying to do.
RG: But your address isn't in here.
Me: Because I don't have a service, right. Okay. How ELSE can an address get into your computer.
RG: Oh! Wait! I know this! Every house which can get our Cable Service is added too!
Me: GREAT! Um, stay with me here miss... if I could GET your Cable Service, I would be in your computer. However, if I could GET your Cable Service I could get your Cable High Speed Internet service. And if I could GET your CABLE High Speed Internet Service, I would not NEED the Portable Internet Service. Right?
RG: Right.
Me: So your computer system is set up so that the ONLY PEOPLE WHO NEED Portable Internet, are the ONLY PEOPLE who can NOT ORDER Portable Internet.
RG: That appears to be the case.
Me: Do we see a problem here? I'm guessing you don't sell many of these Portable Internets do you?
RG: No sir. We do not.
Me: I can't imagine why.
RG: Me nei...
Me: It was a rhetorical sarcastic comment which required no response. Now, I'm still trying to see why a Portable Internet service which can be used in over 170+ cities across North America HAS to be tied to a specific address anyway. It will be billed straight to my credit card right? And if I can use it anywhere where there is an "electrical outlet", then just use a dummy fake address, activate the service, and we will figure out the address bit later.
RG: Oh sir! Thats brilliant! That would work.

... anyway, it didn't.

At the time, I just thought it was all about a slew of incompetent Internet Service Providers. I won't go into the details with Bell, or any of the other options I tried. Lets just say that I've run out of options.

So what I saw was:
1) lack of options - I could not find a solution
2) lack of control - even if I DID have a solution, I could not impliment
3) what I wanted VS what I could attain - have to come to terms that I can not get high speed
4) that I could not fix it - even though I may have known more than the people trying to fix it
5) etc...

See, but the lessons I was learning were really not related to the Internet at all. These was just prep work to get me ready to deal with:
1) all the rules of adoption
2) I'm not in control of the adoption process
3) the lengthy adoption process
4) that even though I don't agree with a decision, I can't always change it
5) some things I can not fix
6) etc...

So I've stopped being mad at RipNET, Rogers and Bell, and all the other ISPs who have thus far been unable to provide a quasi-reliable internet service to me... and instead, I want to thank them.

So here is to YOU, Mr. Crappy ISP who can not keep a connection for more than 3 minutes without dropping me!

Here is to you, helping me come to terms with adoption, and things which I can not change!

Yes sir. In our Book of Adoption, I shall add your ISPs picture right beside our Adoption Practicioner, our Adoption Agency, Bob + Yulin, our Lawyer, and all the others who helped the Adoption Process along. And years from now, when our daughter looks back on this all, and flips though her Book of Adoption, she will ask who Mr. Crappy ISP was, and how he helped in her Adoption story. And with a misty eye, and a heart full of joy and love, I shall recall to her all the trials and tribulations which Mr. Crappy ISP walked through with me to help bring her to her Forever Family.

Without you Mr. Crappy ISP, I don't know HOW I could have made it through the Adoption Process.

In fact, we may name our child after you - Ping RipNET Rogers Telus Bell Berzenji.


  1. That name does have a nice "ring" to it Adrian.....

  2. Oh, I should have expected that comment, should have seen that coming! :-) But I wont get all "hung up" on it. I'll just "forward" the bad pun to my "fab 5" friends and let them get "dialed" into your "line" of humor ... maybe I should just stop my comment now.

  3. I'm sorry, there is no service for the number you have dialed.